Leaving Blenheim Palace with 16 other cyclists, Andrew set of on this epic 2Skye4Skye adventure! The 636 mile journey will include a combination of cycling, kayaking, swimming and hill walking, taking in some of the United Kingdom's most stunning scenery.
Skye is buried in the same cemetery as Winston Churchill in Bladon next to Blenheim. Whenever we visit, we remember Winston's famous words "When you are going though hell, keep going." That is what Andrew and the other cyclists will be thinking at times during their gruelling cycle ride and what we will probably be doing every day for the rest of our lives.
It was wonderful to have been so incredibly well supported on the Premiere 2Skye4Skye and we hope more keen cyclists will join this biennial event in 2017.
After leading the boys out of the gates, Jesse opted to stay in the support vehicle for the rest of the morning but made it very clear that Daddy must get all the way to the Isle of Skye in order to meet his hero Danny MacAskill.
After a week of laying loom bands and being 8 months pregnant, I handed over the unenviable task of 'support team' to Sandy Hall (Andrew's mum) who made it all the way to Fort William where she was relieved of her duties by John Hall (Andrew's Uncle). Without their help, the trip would have been very much tougher, so we owe them a huge thank you!
It is now, I hand over to Andrew for his thoughts and feelings during the trip...
It seems like an eternity since we left Blenheim Palace on Saturday 25 July, so much has happened. It has truly lived up to expectations, and despite the often inclement weather, the team have met some amazingly kind and generous people. The Forest of Bowland proved challenging and spectacular in equal measure, with its incredible scenery and rolling hills.
The variety of cycling on sometimes obscenely busy roads, kayaking the length of Lake Windermere in all its beauty with the intermittent rain, taking on the rigours of the West Highland Way on mountain bikes, the paths that had become rivers in the torrential rain, the tumbles, the conquering of Ben Nevis, the sunshine and the calm and serene evening along the edge of Loch Duich, have made this one of the most exciting and humbling adventures. At all times remembering how privileged we are that we have the physical capacity to achieve this feat, while children across the country are suffering the effects of the rigours of treatment for brain tumours and other cancers.
Not all smooth sailing when I managed an impressive forward flip over the handle bars of my bike (not after visiting The Wee Train). Despite the huge personal disappointment of having to miss a day cycling in order to have a trip to the local hospital, Jesse insisted on a photograph and it reminded me that it wasn't as bad as Skye's scar!
So many people who we have met and chatted to along the way, have been touched by what we are doing and spontaneously donated to the Charity. To all of those people who have helped us, we are truly grateful. The Isle of Skye with all its mystique and raw beauty provides us with the final challenge as we seek to conquer the highest peak on the rugged Cuillin Ridge, Sgurr Alasdair. Our ascent starts at 10am on Wednesday the 5th August from the Glen Brittle Campsite. With over 1000km completed, the final objective is tantalisingly close.
Making to to the sheer elation of making it to the summit was made an even more emotional when Matt, the guide from Skye Adventure presented me with the Prime Minister's Points of Light Award which recognises outstanding individual volunteers and people who are making a change in their community. For Sally and I, finding the emotional strength to to continue is so much harder now than when Skye was alive. We certainly don't feel any more deserving than many other people striving to make a difference in the world but we are honoured to have been chosen as 'Points of Light'. Winning this award will further bring to the public eye how much more we intend to do and how everyone's support can really help.
If you have a Twitter account, please 'favourite' or re-tweet David Cameron's comments about us, as it will demonstrate to him just how much you all want to help us make a difference too. @Number10gov
I have almost hit my personal fundraising target of £2,000 through https://www.justgiving.com/2Skye4Skye-2015/ and I would like to thank everyone who has donated to our very special and life saving Charity.